NEW ORLEANS — New numbers released Sunday by the Louisiana Department of Health show more than 3,400 new cases of coronavirus reported over the weekend, less than a week before the state's Phase 2 order is set to expire.
The numbers paint a largely bleak picture of Louisiana's fight against COVID-19, with more than half of the state's parishes over the 10% positive threshold for testing that medical experts say is the bar for slowing and eventually eradicating the virus.
Technically, the 3,467 new cases reported Sunday is the highest single-day increase Louisiana has seen. But that number includes cases reported on Saturday, because the LDH changed a policy in July to stop releasing coronavirus data on Saturdays.
In response to the rising number of cases and deaths, Gov. John Bel Edward put in new restrictions at the beginning of July mandating masks for anybody in public and shutting down dine-in service for bars.
This could be the reason for some improvement in hospitalization numbers now in August, even as cases continue to rise.
Hospitalizations decreased marginally over the two-day stretch, from 1,546 to 1,534, and there has been a decreasing hospitalization trend for most of the past seven days.
Friday, Aug. 7, Louisiana's current Phase 2 mandate, which restricts dining and other shopping statewide, is set to expire. But Edwards has already extended the mandate from its original expiration, and has signaled that he would do so again if the data did not show Louisiana on a healthier track.
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